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Newmarket Town boss backs coronavirus suspension of Thurlow Nunn League matches




Newmarket Town player-manager Michael Shinn has backed the Thurlow Nunn League's decision to suspend fixtures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was announced yesterday morning that all elite football in England would shut down until at least April 4 after the likes of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the illness.

And later in the day the likes of the Southern League and Isthmian League announced postponements, with the Thurlow Nunn League also opting to take a break before reviewing things later this month.

Newmarket Town v Whitton Utd Michael Shinn Picture Mark Westley. (31549571)
Newmarket Town v Whitton Utd Michael Shinn Picture Mark Westley. (31549571)

It has disappointed people in some quarters, who point to the fact that non-league clubs would likely benefit from the lack of professional football by attracting bigger crowds through the gate.

That is a school of thought that Shinn understands, but the Jockeys boss believes that ultimately the right decision has been taken.

"It is really tough. I understand people talking about the money for non-league clubs, but nobody knows just how serious this is and until we do there is no point in risking it," he said.

"We have a lot of people passing through our football club, especially on a Saturday. There are youth team games on our pitch in the morning and then the first team or reserves play. Money will be changing hands over the bar and we have things like a touchscreen coffee machine – it is risky.

"Obviously attendances would have been up and that is great for clubs, but it might not be great medically. Is the decision an over reaction? Who knows. We might be under doing it as well.

"This is not just about football either. A lot of lads are self employed and they have bills to pay, so the risk needs to minimised.

"Nobody wants a weekend without football, and we are one of those clubs that benefit from having a 3G pitch to hire out. Hopefully we will know a lot more in a couple of weeks."

With news of the suspension still relatively fresh, Shinn's plans for his senior side over the coming weeks are still not rubber stamped.

Newmarket are unlikely to train next week, but the players will be encouraged to maintain their fitness levels.

"We still need to digest it a little bit and see what we are going to do," he added. "I have had a few conversations and right now we will be encouraging the boys to keep themselves ticking over.

"Every other team in the league is in the same boat as us at the moment. The truth is none of us probably know what to do right now, but it is important the players do bits by themselves. We will see where we are in a few days."